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Ben Woodburn inspires Reds in UEFA Youth League

Liverpool booked their place in the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over rivals Manchester United at Prenton Park.

Captain Ben Woodburn opened the scoring (11) before setting up Rafael Camacho for a stunning second (78) as Steven Gerrard’s side progressed at the expense of their north-west rivals.

Tahith Chong struck the bar and Joshua Bohui fired a glorious chance over in the first half but Manchester United, managed by Nicky Butt, could not find a way back as they crashed out of the tournament at the last-16 stage.

The result means Liverpool have set up a tie with Manchester City in the last eight of Europe’s elite-youth competition on either March 13 or 14.

It took a little over 10 minutes for Liverpool to take the lead as Woodburn rose high above the United defence to glance a header through goalkeeper Alex Fojticek’s hands and into the top corner.

United rallied and were unfortunate not to draw level on 39 minutes when Chong rattled the frame of the Liverpool goal with a shot from the edge of the area.

Two minutes later Bohui went close, wriggling his way into the area before firing inches over the target from eight yards.

Liverpool's Bobby Adekanye races clear of two United players
Liverpool’s Bobby Adekanye races clear of two United players

Having withstood the United fightback, Liverpool nearly doubled their lead before the break but Elijah Dixon-Bonner hit the crossbar with a long-range drive at the end of a marauding run.

In what proved to be a highly-entertaining contest, both sides continued to exchange blows in the second half.

Man Utd midfielder Tahith Chong surrounded by Liverpool players
Man Utd midfielder Tahith Chong surrounded by Liverpool players

Fojticek had to be alert to prevent Curtis Jones’ rasping drive from extending Liverpool’s lead on 64 minutes, but his defences were soon breached for the second time in emphatic fashion.

Seven minutes after being introduced by Gerrard, substitute Camacho gathered Woodburn’s pass on the right, cut inside a defender and fired a looping effort into the far corner to book Liverpool’s spot in the next round.

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